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Martin Kelly

Appomattox Courthouse and Lee's Surrender

By April 9, 2014

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On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. Ironically, the site of this last major battle was owned by Wilmer McLean, a retired officer of the Virginia militia, who had moved his family into the Courthouse nearly four years earlier after his farm in Northern Virginia became the site of the first battle of Bull Run. It could be said that McLean hosted both one of the major battles at the beginning and near the end of the Civil War.

Additional troops around the country disbanded and surrendered. In fact, the last major surrender by a general occurred on June 23, 1865. The last naval vessel to surrender did not occur until November 6, 1865.

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Comments

April 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm
(1) Sandi says:

April 9, 1865 was a significant day, but the surrender of one army, even if it is the most important army, does not end a war. When Lee surrendered there were other Confederate armies still fighting. Confederate President Jefferson Davis urged them to continue. However, with Lee defeated there was no real hope for Southern victory, so they also surrendered.

As for McLean, it sounds good, but the war began at Fort Sumter, not Manassas. Wilmer McLean was a great self promoter.

August 20, 2010 at 10:30 am
(2) Milton James says:

Only the US Prsident can declare an official end of a war. Pres. Andrew Johnson declared the official end of the Civil Way as being August 20, 1866. WW II official end was declared by Pres. Truman as being Dec. 31, 1946. This date is important as it is used for being able to join the VFW and other organizations. M. James

April 16, 2011 at 7:43 am
(3) Paul Hoover says:

Congress has the power to declare war, it is implied from this Congress has the power, not the President. The President may believe they can continue a war however Congress must as a requirement of the Constitution, fund the war. The President has no power to appropriate money that power is solely reserved to Congress. Thus the power to declare and end a war rests with Congress regardless of what the President or anyone else may think.

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